Saturday, February 06, 2010

Snowed in and Stewing All Day


Well, I made an all-day-simmer beef stew today. I always think it's funny how I never crave this until those long cold winters, and we are in the middle of a blizzard (again). My friend Maxcine asked me for the recipe. I told her that this was one of those clean-out-the-fridge meals. Here's a rough description.

1 pound cubed beef
1 whole onion
1/2 cup all purpose flour
2 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup minced garlic
1 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp madras curry
1/2 tsp red chili flakes
1/4 cups minced parsley
1 gallon water
1 beef bullion
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

Any left-over vegetable. I used:
1 cup sliced carrots
2 medium potatoes (cubed)
1/2 cup asparagus stems, shaved and cut into 1" pieces
1 sliced cups mushrooms
1/2 red bell pepper
1/4 cup sun dried tomatoes

Large stock pot, with lid
Long wooden spoon

Sprinkle salt, sugar, and pepper onto beef, rest for 15 minutes, drain liquid. Heat stock pot to medium heat and add 2 tbs olive oil. Put flour into a small paper bag, combine flour and beef and shake. In small batches, brown the cubed beef. Remove from pan and set aside, reserve all liquid.

The only trick to a good beef stew is slow cooking and stirring about every 30 minutes. Slow cooking takes care of the rest. And if you're stuck indoors in blizzard conditions... what else are you going to do?

Reduce heat, add 2 more tbs oil the pot and clarify onions. Add all spices and vegetables, except potatoes (mushrooms, bell pepper, and carrots, cook for 10 minutes). Add water and bullion bring to boil, reduce to simmer, add beef and cover stock pot. Cook on a low heat for about 4 hours on until beef forks apart easily. Stir occasionally. Add cubed potatoes and cook for 45 more minutes, add more water if needed. The liquid should be thick and silky, if not add more olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to set for an hour. Serve with crackers and beer.
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